2018 NAHBS: Panasonic Randonneur with Shimano Ultegra

In 1971, Panasonic Bicycles first began exporting bicycles to the USA and while their bikes in Japan are mostly consumer-level mamachari and other commuter cycles, this year at NAHBS, their hand-made division brought this beautiful randonneur with Shimano Ultegra, various Nitto products, and one of the wildest finishes I saw at the show.

  • uh how is this mixing an ultegra fd and xtr rd with di2? thought that was made impossible by shimano’s software…

    • They’re Japanese, all they have to do it will it with Shimano and it’ll be so.

    • Ben Jammin

      I stopped by the Shimano display to ask if Panasonic had cracked the code allowing an XTR rear derailleur to play with the road front derailleur; the rep immediately wanted to go see it. Shimano rep suggested the only way it was maybe possible was if they were running some sort of split system with two batteries. We asked the Panasonic guy if it works and he kind of smiled and nodded until we went to press the shifter buttons then he kind of shrugged and said something to the effect of, “no no just for display”. Shimano rep took some photos and shook his head saying that this bike on display was going to cause a bunch of headaches with people wondering if a mixed Di2 system with a mountain rear derailleur and a road front derailleur (or vice versa) works now. Long story short, it doesn’t.

      • fucking laaaame shimano

      • Hah! No shit. That’s wild. Although I’d like to see the two battery solution. Someone give that a try!

        • Christopher Robert Yankopoulos

          There is a adapt-a-bike shop/dealer in Warwick, RI that is build some gorgeous trikes and quads for disable riders. They have MTB drivetrain options that use a two battery, shifter, derailleur system that accommodate many of their clients needs.

      • Superpilot

        Weeeeellllll Shimano should save itself the bloody headaches and make them compatible now shouldn’t they! Either that or make a mtb style road derailleur! Jeepers jiminy crickets customer demand isn’t rocket science what what!

  • jordan_vondy

    What is going on with the flashlight?

    • dancakes

      im just mad i never thought of that before

    • Andrew Schwab

      It’s a traditional French rando lighting style. Velo-Orange even sold flashlight clamps for a while, if I remember correctly.

      • Igor Shteynbuk

        You’re correct. Long ago we were bending stainless to the correct springy-ness to secure the lamp but still be able to remove it at camp.

    • Nick T. Mere
  • Ace Metric Cycles

    This thing is fresh!

  • John B.

    Love those custom headtube lugs with the recessed headset – fantastic.

  • I have serious mixed feelings about this. Love the black fenders though. Anyone know who’s fenders those are? VO? HonjoxSim Works?

    • Honjo – Panasonic would never use VO.

      • Superpilot

        What’s up with VO John, don’t roll in the right crowds to know anything ‘off’ about them yet?

        • Chris Valente

          More likely a Japanese company using another Japanese company’s product, especially one like Honjo which is pretty well known for high quality fenders. John may know differently but I have heard nothing but good things about VO as a company.

        • Nothing against VO but why would a bike like this, which is almost 100% made in Japan go to VO for fenders?

          • Superpilot

            Sure, makes sense, thanks!

      • A few seconds listening to my common sense would have told me this I suppose.

    • Superpilot

      Mixed because it’s disc or something?

      • Nah. I’m sold on the frame. It’s incredible, but I’m not sold on the part choices as a whole. Rim or disc makes no difference. I really want to like this, but I know I’d like it better if it were built up differently.

        • Superpilot

          Yeah, certainly a modern take. Compared to the other rando bikes which all just look like they were built with nos parts from the 60’s, it’s certainly different. Not bagging the traditional setup though, 9kg with all that steel is impressive!

        • Avuncular


  • Clint Culpepper

    Any idea how I can get my hands on one of these?

  • geoff.tewierik

    Really needs a Crane Bell to finish it off.

  • Patrick Jonathan Neitzey

    I just dig this.

  • Chater-Lea

    Was def one of our fave bikes at the show. Really popped even among such esteemed company.

  • Kirsten Geer Wilcox

    Is that a Knog bell? Looks cool – but it seems like an odd choice.

    • Ryan Maynard Eames

      yes, needs a spur cycle.

    • Needs a Crane to continue the made in Japan theme.

  • Andris Putniņš

    Sweet looking ride

  • Ryanisinallofus

    New + old forever .

  • James Liepolt

    How did they get the Ultegra to play nice with the xtr? I thought the front derailleur firmware conflicts with the rear derailleur and they both stop working.

  • Looooooooooved these bikes. Glad you shot one. That frame set was bonkers too. Maybe coming soon…

  • ap

    Hey Panasonic how do I get one?! I went to the P.O.S. and can’t find this model in the catalog. I want one!